Moline’s Mercado On Fifth Bringing Back Mexican Cuisine, Culture And More Friday
Moline’s Mercado On Fifth is back!
Bringing Back Mexican Cuisine, Culture And More Friday, May 27 from 5 to 10 p.m. at 432 12th Street in Moline, everyone can get the weekend started right with Mercado! There will be a variety of children’s activities, delicious Mexican cuisine, and unique retail stands selling everything from jewelry to hand-sewn blouses and imported ceramics.
Mercado on Fifth is not just a market; it serves as a resource and catalyst for aspiring entrepreneurs. The weekly events bring Quad Citizens together to celebrate culture and community in an inclusive way. Educational programming at Mercado provides enrichment hours for children, and free nonprofit booth space gets helpful information to adults.
By addressing the specific needs of small businesses in the area, Mercado on Fifth and its partners have helped create and/or provide a platform for 30 new minority-owned businesses in the Quad Cities region. Most vendors have taken advantage of our free small business workshops (in Spanish and English) in partnership with the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Western Illinois University (SBDC). Through the management of the SBDC, we also started a micro-grant program for minority entrepreneurs to purchase equipment for their businesses. Over the past two years, Mercado founder Bob Ontiveros has given away over $62,000 to over 40 minority-owned businesses to purchase anything from food warmers to an industrial sewing machine.
Black Hawk College, another valued partner, also began offering the Food Sanitation Management class in Spanish at the request of Mercado leadership. Previously, Spanish speakers interested in becoming a kitchen manager or starting a food business had to drive to Chicago to take the class. Finally, Mercado on Fifth supported the creation of a commercial kitchen located within St. John’s Lutheran Church just blocks away from the Moline event space, thus completing the entrepreneurial eco-system. Mercado vendors and other small businesses now rent the kitchen for a small hourly fee.
Go ahead and block out your Fridays because Mercado On Fifth is where you are going to want to be this summer.